4th Amendment- right of the people to be secure in their persons…

On October 2, 2014 I noted that some Sheriff deputies had a sign at the Simi Valley Metrolink station  requiring people to consent to bag searches or they wouldn’t be permitted on the platform.

Of course, no warrants.  Here’s the link to the Metrolink security policy.

I stepped on the platform at another staircase and didn’t encounter the deputies.

Our Constitution’s 4th Amendment states-

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
– See more at:  http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment4.html

Our country seems to be going downhill big time.

I was living in Boston during the 2004 Democratic convention. The powers that be had demonstrators in cages in a construction area to exercise their 1st amendment rights.  On my way home, I was sitting in a Orange Line train, and a police officer asked if he could look in my bag.  I told him “No thank you.”  When I finally got across to him, I was asked to leave the train or be arrested.

The lack of character of our police and politicians is extraordinary.

As Doctor Franklin said:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Our forefathers should be ashamed of us.

Adam Selene   2014
Creative Commons License
4TH AMENDMENT- RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BE SECURE IN THEIR PERSONS… by Adam Selene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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ai6pg

have worked in Financial Services for over 15 years with extensive experience in Project Management, Systems Analysis, Compliance, Operations, Relationship Management, and System Management. I am an NRA Rifle and Pistol Instructor as well as an NRA Range Safety Officer. I am a high power rocketeer. I'm an Level 2 Certified in NAR and Tripoli I am also an Amateur Extra Radio Operator. I enjoy photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gracefamily/

3 thoughts on “4th Amendment- right of the people to be secure in their persons…”

  1. I’ll take these one at a time. (Sorry if this is long.)

    Time/Place Searches: I understand what you are saying. However previous Supreme Court rulings have been found these type of “Searches” to be Constitutional – they were found to be “reasonable searches” due to their nature and intent to ensure the protection of public safety, combined with the fact that they were limited in scope.

    I’ve done this after 9/11 at U.S. Airports as part of the Military support program. It’s not something that I wanted to do or even liked doing, but it was something that had to be done due to the threats at the time. Similar searches occur at sporting events, airports, and other transportation hubs (to name a few…). When the police are doing searches like this it needs to be for a specific reason, time & place (The time can be long term or even “indefinite” depending upon the nature of the place). No “random stop & drop” types of searches (Like was being done in New York City…until recently).

    Now, is this something that we want in the United States?

    Is this something that we should have?

    Yes…and no. Yes, in that we need to protect the people. No, in that we need to avoid abuses. This is where balances need to be set and rigorously maintained. Where do we allow for such searches? Are they allowed at key public places? (Government buildings, transportation hubs, etc) or do we start allowing them anywhere, anytime, randomly (ie: Stop/Drop searches…). The former has been found to be “reasonable,” while the later is intrusive in the extreme because it violates the 4th Amendment. As to peoples opinions or agreement with the former…well that is why we have the 1st Amendment – for now (And we need to continue to exercise is…and make sure that Free Speech Zones go the way of the DoDo bird).

    __________
    Free Speach Zones: As to the Free Speech Zone in Boston. Those are, per recent Court Decisions, Illegal. Yet too many places – Colleges, Universities, Cities, etc – continue to use them in order to shut down decent. This needs to stop. Period. I encourage anyone who has a camera to take video or these so-called Free Speech Zones and post them…embarrassment is the best way to stop these violations to the Constitution! (Lawsuits take years and lots of money…)

    __________
    Stop/Drop Searches: Let’s look at the Police Officer who “asked” you to let him look at your bag or be arrested. I don’t know the whole incident. The area may have been under a “Public Safety” clause (per the above), however, that doesn’t necessarily hold in this case. The officer, from your description “called you over” and “asked to see your bag” – you were already on the Orange Train, not getting on or in line. So, unless they were searching for a threat that they were aware of then this sounds like an overreach (This happens too often among what I call the “Rambo Cops”…). So, IMO, this was an overreach. To tell you to either let him/her look at your bag or you would be arrested is wrong, and potentially a violation of the Constitution – however, this is how the Police are able to get away with things; if you pushed things, you would be arrested…then what? You would have been been booked, you and your bag searched, then you would have been released a little while later – probably charges would have been dropped (a “mistaken arrest”)…but if the charges weren’t dropped, then you would have had thousands of dollars in bills for a lawyer, unless you took a public defender (Unless the ACLU came to your defense…), and ended up with a big fine and possible jail. So…this is an example of Institutionalized Intimidation through the Threat of Jail – something that King George III and his Agents did. So…this is wrong, but difficult for one person to fight against.

    I come from a Cop background. Yes, a Military Cop…but I have plenty of experience with Civilian/Federal Law Enforcement. It’s difficult to keep a balance, and plenty of LE cross the line – usually it is unintentional, though sometimes we have those who “get off of the power” and it is those who definitely need to be reigned in.

    As for our Politicians – Politicrats, as I like to call them. They don’t have character. They are, IMO, the new “Elite”…the Political Aristocrats (Politicrats) of America. Something that Doctor Franklin wanted to avoid.

    ~ Nadrakas (aka: Fred)

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  2. Thanks for the comment Fred. Well said. I don’t agree with all the supreme court or all our congresscritters have done but you are well spoken and raise excellent points.
    Thanks,
    Peter ai6pg

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  3. Thank you Peter. I wouldn’t say that I am “well spoken.” I can be…well, “crude” at times (I was a Cop for a long while…), but I do try to be a Civil and Respectable person.

    ~ Nadrakas…

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